Parents’ Screen Time Surpass That of Their Kids

by Dr. Meenakshy Varier on  December 8, 2016 at 2:37 PM Health Watch
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Highlights
  • Parents spend double the amount of time on screen, compared to their kids.
  • About 78% of the parents believed that they are good media and technology role models for their kids.
  • Nearly 94% of the parents surveyed believe that technology is beneficial for their children in terms of exposing them to different cultures.
Parents spend more than nine hours a day with TVs, computers and other screen devices, which is almost twice as much as children use, according to a recent survey.
Parents’ Screen Time Surpass That of Their Kids
Parents’ Screen Time Surpass That of Their Kids
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The survey was conducted by researchers from the non-profit Common Sense Media group and Northwestern University's Center on Media and Human Development.

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Findings from the Survey

Nearly 1,800 parents in the U.S. were surveyed and their daily screen time averaged nine hours and 22 minutes.

Majority of the time, over 80%, that is around 7 hours and 43 minutes is personal screen time for parents and the other roughly 90 minutes is spent on work.

Roughly 78% of the parents believed that they are good media and technology role models for their kids.

About 34% of the parents worried that excess exposure to media might affect their children's sleep and communication. Around 56% think that their children are addicted to media and 50% think that media will affect their child's physical activity level.

Among those surveyed, two-thirds or 67% of the parents agreed that monitoring their children's devices and social media accounts is more important than allowing them privacy.

When it comes to online activities, 43% parents worry about how much time their kids spent surfing, about 36% worry that their children are exposed to violence or pornography and 38% worry on how much personal information is shared.

Compared to white parents (at 51%), Latino (at 66%) and black (at 65%) parents were more worried about the impact of media on their children.

White parents spent about 6 hours and 38 minutes on personal media. Latinos spending about two-and-a-half hours more and African-American parents four hours more.

"I found the numbers astounding, the sheer volume of technology used by parents," James P.Steyer, founder and CEO of Common Sense Media said. "There's really a big disconnect between their own behavior and their self-perception, as well as their perception of their kids."

Nearly all parents, 94% believe technology is helpful for children's schoolwork and education, with 89% agreeing it will prepare youngsters for jobs.

About three-quarters of those surveyed said technology increases exposures to other culture and supports kids' expression of their personal beliefs.

The National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) says the media has profound formative influence on the child's behavioral development .

Healthy tips

"Media can give you a lot of teachable moments, if you use it wisely," Steyer said.

  • Role-modeling- Parents should role-model their behavior so kids can learn from that.
  • Device-free time- Parents should strictly prohibit the use of media devices in certain places and during certain times. Family dinners should be used an opportunity to engage in healthy face-face communication. Similarly to ensure a sound sleep, media use should be restrcited an hour or two before bedtime.
  • Use media with kids and be engaged- Parents should be engaged with their kids while using media by learning from them, asking them questions and addressing issues on drug use and sex.


Source: Medindia
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